25 Sep Instagram Reels Are Now 30 Seconds Long
Welcome back to another week of social media updates in Spark Growth’s Spark Social Report! This week, Facebook Groups have a new set of restrictions, Instagram Reels are now longer, LinkedIn has redesigned its desktop website interface. Keep reading to see what’s new with your favorite apps!
Facebook is playing an active role in educating eligible voters to participate in the upcoming U.S. 2020 presidential elections. To encourage voters to seek information about the elections, the company has launched a new campaign called “More Questions, More Answers” for its Voting Information Center. Facebook has been sending pop-up messages to users in the U.S. with links redirecting them to their state’s official website so that they can register online. The company also initiated a challenge called the #PledgeToVoteChallenge motivating people to share their voting stories and tag their friends to join in. This new update is now available for U.S. citizens in English and 11 other languages to help users register and vote in their native language.
Also, Facebook is planning to initiate a campaign called Vote-A-Thon 2020 that will be broadcasted on the app. The goal of this initiative is to highlight human interest stories across the country and honor the unsung heroes of the election process who played a vital role in empowering people to cast their votes.
Facebook launched a new interface called “Business Suite” to help small businesses manage their social media operations all on the same platform. They can create and schedule posts, track their post performance, get industry updates, keep tabs on their engagement rate, and more. To learn how to access Business Suite, click here.
In this next update, Facebook announced it’s making changes for Facebook Groups that will result in a safer space for users. Previously, Facebook would take down a group if its content advocated hate speech or went against its policies. With the implementation of new penalties and restrictions, the company plans to block admins from creating a new group if they’ve been taken down once. Groups that are related to militia and anarchist organizations have been removed. Some of the other changes in the latest update include removing health groups from popping up in recommendations and adding labels that read “reviewed by fact-checkers” to content being shared among people.
Next, Facebook introduced “Rights Manager for Images,” a tool that will identify image copyright infringement across its Facebook and Instagram apps. This will be a part of the Creator Studio. This upgrade to the existing Rights Manager tool will safeguard photographers’ and content creators’ intellectual property from being misused or used without permission. The tool with either block or take down the image that is being used without crediting the source.
Facebook’s next update is sure to be good news for advertisers. It is planning to remove restrictions on ads that feature text on more than 20% of the image. Marketers are still expected to abide by Facebook’s advertisement policies, and the company has reiterated that images with less text perform better.
BIG news for Facebook advertisers:
Facebook is killing its '<20% text in image' rule for ads
Source: Facebook pic.twitter.com/nP18BSLP7L
— Matt Navarra (@MattNavarra) September 22, 2020
Lastly, this next Facebook update is a game-changer (at least for this app)! Users can now see a hashtag list while creating a post. As seen in the tweet below, the list shows additional context behind certain hashtags or how many posts have used the hashtag.
New! Facebook shows hashtag usage metrics in-line as you type when you create a new post pic.twitter.com/3bEonhXjBQ
— Matt Navarra (@MattNavarra) September 21, 2020
Twitter has launched new tools to encourage U.S. citizens to vote in the 2020 presidential elections. U.S. citizens will now be able to see a message on their home timeline prompting them to register to vote or confirm their registration on TurboVote. This alert will be available in 40 different languages depending on the user’s preferred language in their browser settings. Twitter has also launched two hashtags–#NationalVoterRegistrationDay and #VoteReady–to empower citizens to join in on conversations surrounding the elections.
Next, Twitter has launched the “Share Tweet” menu for iOS 14 users. This feature shares tweets from Twitter to other apps, such as Messages, WhatsApp, and Mail. They now have easy access to their contacts and to chats they recently interacted with.
Now available to everyone on iOS: the new “Share Tweet” menu that lets you share Tweets to other apps in fewer taps. https://t.co/laC6IDQ89j
— Twitter Support (@TwitterSupport) September 22, 2020
Here’s something fun! Instagram Reels have increased in length from 15 to 30 seconds. Apart from this huge upgrade, Instagram has also increased the limit on the self-timer from 3 seconds to 10 seconds and added an option to edit or delete a clip from the timeline.
A few Reels updates coming at you:
🤳 Create a reel up to 30 seconds
⏱ Extend the timer to 10 seconds when you’re recording
🎬 Trim and delete any clip pic.twitter.com/kVrCEnvC55
— Instagram (@instagram) September 23, 2020
LinkedIn has revamped its desktop website after almost five years. It has made the search experience more organized and features more accurate results. Users can now add additional filters during their initial search to narrow down the results. Also, LinkedIn has added new result cards that will help users track the recent activity of their connections.
LinkedIn has also introduced a few new features. First, a “Create Video Meeting” option allows users to kick off a video call directly from their LinkedIn messages using Microsoft Teams, BlueJeans by Verizon, or Zoom. Second, users can edit and delete direct messages. In case a user sends a message by mistake or has missed some information, they can double-tap on the message and edit it or delete it altogether. Third, Emoji reactions have been added. Similar to Facebook, users can react to direct messages with emojis, which offers an additional option for engagement. Fourth, unwanted or inappropriate messages from senders can now be reported by users through in-line warnings, which indicates that the message has been automatically flagged. Users will then be able to view and report the message, or dismiss it and mark it as safe.
Lastly in LinkedIn’s updates this week, the platform has also jumped on to the ‘Story’ trend like other social media platforms, for users in the U.S. and Canada. Users can now share 20-second videos as their Stories, which will stay on their profile for a maximum of 24 hours.
For all those who haven’t gotten any closure on why their videos were removed on TikTok in the last six months, the company has finally provided some answers. TikTok released their recent transparency report revealing reasons behind why certain videos were taken down from the app. The reasons cited in the report ranged from nudity and illegal activities to harassment, bullying and self-harm.
YouTube announced updates for its age-restriction technology that blocks content for users under 18 years old. When users view age-restricted content on a third-party site, they’ll be taken to YouTube and asked to sign in to their account to verify their age.
WhatsApp is late to the party but don’t they say better late than never? Just like Snapchat and Instagram let users send images, videos, and GIFs that disappear after the recipient has viewed them once, WhatsApp is also ready to hop on the ‘disappearing messages’ bandwagon. The message sender has the option to turn the expiring feature on but cannot set a timer for how long the recipient can view the message for.
That’s all for this week’s Spark Social Report. For even more insights on digital and social media marketing trends and best practices, be sure to follow Spark Growth on Twitter!Click here to learn more about how brands have adapted during COVID-19